Life is short, so take time to celebrate and remember these few things

I am turning 39 this week. With life behind me and before me, I thought I would share some of my understandings and misgivings as I approach the age of 40. Life does not always make sense. Sometimes what we leave behind stays with us until we are able to reconcile our past with our future. I thought I would feel rather odd about this birthday. You know, that sort of mid-life crisis feeling. However, I’ve never been so sure of some key fundamental principles I have learned over the years. In fact, I am feeling rather certain and confident that life is better with age, even for women. Besides, there is always a good plastic surgeon in the yellow pages.
1. Don’t forget to count your blessings. Many times we get caught up in the minutia of our current circumstances. We can become carried away with our little worries that can tear away at our emotions. What we must remember is life is moments of lessons we must surrender to, and to admit error or fault when we have fallen guilty of feeling sorry for ourselves. Don’t make that mistake. You will undoubtedly go soul searching on occasion. And, when that time comes, don’t forget to count the fact you have the ability to stand upright and walk, or push a pen across the white sheet of paper.
2. Dream big. Even if you can’t see, feel it, be it, and have the courage to dream anyway, even when the odds can be against you. One of my favorite quotes is from Katherine Hepburn, “Boldness has genius to it.” We may not always win. We can even fail sometimes. However, if you keep that image of what you want burning in your subconscious, time will work its magic if we only have the courage to believe in our wishes and dreams. I’m not talking about “Alice in Wonderland” dreaming, I’m talking about following your heart with the intent of succeeding.
3. Have the decency to be kind. This means even when you think you’re beyond the “niceties of tea time.” I recently have had to endure a situation where some friends do not like other friends. What do you do when your friends don’t all get along? Have a party and invite them all anyway. We can’t always control what others say or do, but we can take control our own actions and try our best to connect the dots for those we love. And, sometimes when you least expect it, the most gorgeous sunset will take place over the little town of Rancho Santa Fe. 
4.  Don’t forget to relish small rituals during your daily routine. Maybe you’re a Zen fanatic. Maybe you like waking up and taking your dog for a walk, or you simply enjoy your shower time like it’s a day at the beach. Find that one little ritual that you can take with you anywhere. My daily ritual? I have a pillow embroidered from an antique shop from Missouri that states, ”Life begins after coffee.” I can’t wait to make my first cup every day. It can be pressed, brewed, microwaved or three days old. My daily ritual is simple, one cup of coffee before I leave the house. So look for that one small ritual that you can count each day. Trust me, you’ll need it.
5.  Celebrate this life. If you don’t make your life fun, who will? I think the tendency is to sort of sit back and let life happen to us. What I have found out is if you want your life to be amazing, you must take center stage and throw the parties. Make things happen. Life is a gift. We don’t know how long our time is, so what we do now is important. Plan an event, gather your friends and do your best to celebrate the moments in between. Life is short. Make the most of what you have — now. Celebrate your birthdays!
This issue is my two-year anniversary of “Machel’s Ranch.” I just want to say thank you for reading and picking up our newspaper. Please let me know if you have a great story to share. I would love to mention it in my next column.
Around Town
On Feb. 3, Ronnie Berger invited me to stop by Dr. Sherman’s office in Del Mar for a Valentine’s party. When I arrived there was a gourmet assortment of finger foods with cold beverages arranged in their waiting room. Clients and friends of the office enjoyed their lunchtime together on this gorgeous afternoon. If you do not know who Dr. Sherman is, let me be the first to tell you that he is one of the most established plastic surgeons in San Diego. I have the good fortune of knowing Ronnie and Dr. Sherman through The Coast News. With 20 years of established history in North County, if you are looking for some upgrades in your appearance, check out their Web site at www.drsherman.com. I took a cute shot of Ronnie Berger that day. Thank you for including me in your Valentine’s party.
Later that evening, Robin and I were thrilled to attend Julien Hug’s surprise birthday party at Mille Fleurs. His girlfriend Jennifer Bell organized a wonderful get together with the most amazing chocolate cake I have ever seen at a birthday party. Karian and Tom Forsythe, one of my favorite Rancho Santa Fe couples, arrived in fabulous matching attire to help celebrate that evening. I also managed to snag a fabulous shot of Bertrand Hug, owner of Mille Fleurs, with new Dolce restaurant owner Dr. Anthony Smith. Two heavy-hitters in one night! The evening was delightful. And, nothing gives me more joy that to see others I know so ecstatically happy. We ended the evening under the stars, sharing stories with good friends on the patio courtyard. What a delightful evening. Thanks Jen, for including us on the birthday guest list.
On Feb. 7, Ranch resident Tony Macaluso, with girlfriend Bianca Smith, hosted a huge Super Bowl party at their sprawling estate near the Rancho Santa Fe Golf course. Station Sushi catered the bash, which was a huge hit with all of the guests. While most of the world was watching The Who perform the halftime show, Tony and Bianca’s guests participated in a kick-off football contest outside in their garden area above the property. I’m not sure who won the contest, but rest assured everyone had a wonderful time. Thanks so much for inviting Robin and me to your rockin’ Super Bowl party.
On Feb. 13, Del Mar resident Holden Macdonald celebrated his 10th birthday party at the Laser Tag place off of Sports Arena in San Diego. Fifteen other excited young boys strapped on their gear to engage in some fun with their good friend that day. My son Jackson Tuck has been friends with Holden since he was a baby. We met Meredith Macdonald and Holden at a Gymboree in Solana Beach 10 years ago this month. I have included a beautiful shot of mother and son from that wonderful Saturday afternoon. My sister, Tracy Chapman, was also in town with her family. I also have a lovely shot of my niece Lyvia with her mom. Happy Birthday Holden and thanks for your friendship with Jackson. Life has been more fun for both of us since meeting the MacDonald family.
On Feb. 18, I received some exciting news from Sequoia Solar in Solana Beach. David Boylan, head of marketing, informed me that “well-known weather-caster and environmentalist Loren Nancarrow will be heading up Sequoia Sequoia Solar’s Business Development.” David also said that, “Nancarrow has been an active environmentalist for years and sees this ans an opportunity to really help shape the future of energy in California.” You might not know this, but David also writes a column for The Coast News Group called “Lick the Plate,” in which he reviews restaurants in North County. I have included a courtesy shot of Loren Nancarrow. Good luck in your new business partnership.
Save the date
On Feb. 28, don’t miss out you future brides-to-be on the North County Bridal Faire. Arrive at the Hilton Garden Inn-Del Mar between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a special bridal fashion show, tastings, demos and your chance to win other prizes, such as a Grand Getaway-honeymoon. The date previously been set for early February, so make sure you don’t forget to mark your calendars for the last day of this month. For more information, visit www.bridalfaire. com or call (760) 295-1518.

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